Charles Johnson got his life back when he was released from prison in 2016, after serving 22 years for a crime he didn’t commit. But he was still broke.
“You have to start from scratch,” Johnson said. “From underwear to a bar of soap, you don’t have nothing.”
Johnson did have one item of potential value: A lawsuit.
He sued the City of Chicago and its police department in 2018, alleging that police coerced Johnson and three others into confessing to a double murder. Prosecutors hid crucial fingerprint evidence that years later proved Johnson’s innocence, according to the suit.